Tips for Tree Planting and Maintenance from KCP&L

KCP&L 24-hour Media Hotline 

Kansas City, Mo. (October 8, 2013) – Fall is here and the trees are starting to change colors, but instead of only thinking about raking the leaves, KCP&L wants to remind customers that fall is also a great time to plant a tree. Trees not only beautify your landscape but can provide shelter for your home during weather-related events. However, they must be planted properly to provide the best shelter. Here are some tips on the best ways to plant and maintain new trees.

Planning is key

It is important to plan before planting a tree. Planting the wrong tree in the wrong place can cause property damage, create a nuisance to neighbors or even become a safety hazard. Additionally, proper selection of trees and shrubs will minimize their long-term maintenance, increase property value, enhance the environment and help ensure reliable electric service.

“Arbitrarily planting trees will increase the time you spend working in the yard and could jeopardize your home and its utilities in the future,” said Geoff Vossen, Manager of KCP&L’s Vegetation Management Department. “Planning ahead can save time, money and labor.”

General planting tips

  • First, determine available growing space, factoring in adequate clearance around overhead and underground power lines.
  • Before you excavate or dig, call 811811, toll-free, to get your underground utilities marked for free.
  • Select an appropriate location. Another important factor to consider is planting for energy efficiency. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a typical household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling.
  • Pick the right fertilizer. Trees require certain nutrients to live and thrive. Using the right fertilizer can increase growth, reduce susceptibility to diseases and reverse declining health.
  • Maintain tree(s) on a regular basis to foster growth and development by trimming dead, diseased or insect-infested branches. During the life of the tree, pruning is necessary to direct growth away from power lines, remove broken branches and/or improve visibility of signs and intersections.

Planting for reliable electric service

Trees can be the cause of a power outage during storms. Tree limbs that come into contact with power lines have the potential to disrupt service and create a public safety hazard. Keeping power lines clear of limbs and brush provides KCP&L personnel unfettered access so they can quickly restore power to homes during adverse weather conditions, like thunderstorms and ice storms. KCP&L works year round regularly trimming trees to main safe, reliable service for customers.

“To help prevent the danger and inconvenience of outages KCP&L’s Vegetation Management group is responsible for trimming or removing trees that threaten service reliability,” said Vossen. “If you are performing your own tree maintenance safety is paramount. If tree limbs are growing near your service line, the line from a pole and your meter, KCP&L will come out free of charge to disconnect the power so you, or a tree care professional, can perform tree maintenance.”

For more tips on how to plant trees in the best spot please see our online “Right Tree, Right Place” brochure.
About KCP&L: 
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at or